Our Day of Praise is Done

John Ellerton (1826-1893) wrote approximately 50 original hymns and translated several more from Latin. John Julian, in his Dictionary of Hymnology (1907) sums up Ellerton’s style:

The words which he uses are usually short and simple; the thought is clear and well stated; the rhythm is good and stately…His sympathy with nature, especially in her sadder moods, is great; he loves the fading light and the peace of eve, and lingers in the shadows. Unlike many writers who set forth their illustrations in detail, and then tie to them the moral which they are to teach, he weaves his moral into his metaphor, and pleases the imagination and refreshes the spirit together. Now and again he falls into the weakness of ringing changes on words; but taken as a whole his verse is elevated in tone, devotional in spirit, and elegant in diction. (Source: Hymnary)

Ellerton’s hymn below strikes a chord with me because of its theme of ceaseless praise to The Most High.

Our day of praise is done;
The evening shadows fall;
But pass not from us with the sun,
True Light that lightenest all.

Around the throne on high,
Where night can never be,
The white-robed harpers of the sky
Bring ceaseless hymns to Thee.

Too faint our anthems here;
Too soon of praise we tire;
But oh, the strains how full and clear
Of that eternal choir!

Yet, Lord, to Thy dear will
If Thou attune the heart,
We in Thine angel’s music still
May bear our lower part.

‘Tis Thine each soul to calm,
Each wayward thought reclaim,
And make our life a daily psalm
Of glory to Thy name.

A little while, and then
Shall come the glorious end;
And songs of angels and of men
In perfect praise shall blend.

Amen.

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